The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has awarded a $100,000 grant to a group seeking to develop a Center of Innovation for personalized medicine.

The grant could lead to a $2.5 million phase 2 award.

The North Carolina consortium is led by Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg, a professor of medicine at Duke University. He also is the head of the Duke system’s Center for Personalized Medicine and director of genomic medicine at the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.

The grant will fund development of a business plan for creation of a Center of Innovation.

“North Carolina’s knowledge-based economy is well-positioned to take advantage of the coming growth in personalized medicine,” said Mary Beth Thomas, vice president of the Center of Innovation Program at the Biotech center.

 “Our many research and industry assets will allow North Carolina to lead the advancement of personalized medicine,” she added. “Preeminent research universities, more than 500 life-science companies, including the world’s largest cluster of contract research and testing organizations, combined with a strong information technology cluster, will serve as an exceptional platform for launching and growing a personalized-medicine sector.”

The Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Center for Personalized Medicine at Duke, Gentris Corp., Pappas Ventures, Physicians Pharmacy Alliance, and the David H. Murdock Institute also are involved in the effort.

“This N.C. Biotech planning grant will allow us to bring together the key personalized-medicine stakeholders from across the state to develop a plan for collaborative solutions, public-private partnerships, and to develop a network that will accelerate the state’s leadership in this important area of health care,” Ginsburg said in a statement.

“I am very optimistic that this initiative will develop into a robust Center of Innovation for patient care for North Carolina and also for economic growth for the many entities in this state, both public and private, who are committed to personalized medicine as a strategy. NCBiotech has provided us an extraordinary opportunity to be a model for other states across the country.”